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Old Sep 12, 2008, 08:30 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Market Harborough
Joined Apr 2006
3,791 Posts
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Beechcraft Starship, Mark II flying and developing

Beechcraft Starship. It's my plan to build and try to fly one of these in the amateur, multi-engine class.

A beautiful, innovative plane, the brainchild of Burt Rutan, it was a commercial disaster. 53 were built and $300m was spent on development. Only a few were ever sold. In 1989, the price of one was $3.9m, similar to a Learjet, but it was slower, noisier and less efficient. The pusher prop configuration was a major factor in this problem, for roughly the same reason as an electric powered Zagi makes such a lot of noise, I think. Propellors work best operating in a nice clean airflow, not behind the wing. But I'm sure it's not that simple.

Anyway, my first step will be to build a concept tester. A canard model adapted from my old Slinger flying wing. Just to see if I can fly one of these beasts. Hopefully I will be allowed, by the rules and by my lovely new wife, to try this before the 1 December. Oh! and not to mention my current Mosquito project, going very slowly.

Many thanks to Mike Scratchnhover for getting the steam up to enthuse us all in this new contest. And good luck to all the competitors.

Nick
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Last edited by nickchud; Sep 16, 2009 at 08:01 AM. Reason: flying now
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 10:12 AM
Not now, Kato! Not now!
katobaggins's Avatar
Sheridan, OR USA
Joined Jan 2005
143 Posts
Good going, Nick. The Starship is one of my favorites. The innovative design makes it a standout already.

Do you thnik you'll go with retracts, or is that a given?
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 10:19 AM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Wichita, KS
Joined Jun 2003
1,577 Posts
My buddy's father was a VP in Sales at Beech in the early '90's and I had the chance to fly in a Starship. We went up early in the morning and had a nice 30 minute flight. It was great needless to say. I still remember the short takeoff and steep climbout. Good luck with the build.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 10:31 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Market Harborough
Joined Apr 2006
3,791 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by pburress
My buddy's father was a VP in Sales at Beech in the early '90's and I had the chance to fly in a Starship. We went up early in the morning and had a nice 30 minute flight. It was great needless to say. I still remember the short takeoff and steep climbout. Good luck with the build.
Wow! what a thrill! was it noisy in the cabin?

cheers

Nick
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 10:44 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Market Harborough
Joined Apr 2006
3,791 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by katobaggins
Good going, Nick. The Starship is one of my favorites. The innovative design makes a standout already.

Do you thnik you'll go with retracts, or is that a given?
Thanks for your brilliant photos Kato.

Yup, retracts for sure. Of course, the more I think about it, the more I think maybe it would be possible to organise flaps linked to the variable sweep canard. Crazy fool! - it's all very easy inside my head!

I've got to walk before I run, run before I fly and fly before I can land safely.

If it turns out that flying the concept tester is fairly benign then I can start getting ambitious with the cunning features. I'm not even sure that my Tx has enough channels. There are 6, but number 6 is usually used for the left aileron, 5 for the u/c, 4 for the rudder, etc.

I think I'm going to want rudders to manage it on the runway, link those to the steerable nosewheel. P'raps the flaps etc can operate on the same signal as the u/c. hmmmmmm

Nick
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 12:02 PM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Wichita, KS
Joined Jun 2003
1,577 Posts
Quote:
Wow! what a thrill! was it noisy in the cabin?
As I recall there was some prop noise on takeoff but it was overall a smooth ride. The cabin was very upscale with leather seats and a nice bar.

Phil
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:28 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Market Harborough
Joined Apr 2006
3,791 Posts
Here is a link to a guy who's got a real Starship - NC-51. He says "On the ramp she gathers more stares than a girl in a bikini." and "A Starship pilot feels as safe as babe in his/her mother's arms. The machine feels like the melding of a magic carpet and a Mercedes Benz."

Well, if I can get mine flying p'raps I can bask in some reflected glory

Nick
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:15 PM
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lake flyer's Avatar
Joined Nov 2005
4,404 Posts
Now if they only made it with floats !!
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 05:32 PM
If it flies, I crash it!
dlazarus6660's Avatar
USA, NH, Londonderry
Joined Nov 2006
926 Posts
Better look here first!

Nickchud

Better look here first before you build!

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=312172

This guy has been at it for a few years!

Daniel
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 05:52 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Market Harborough
Joined Apr 2006
3,791 Posts
Yes, I saw that one too.

If it was easy, everyone would do it!

I wouldn't have thought it possible without these people

Nick
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 06:00 PM
Oh no, not again!
jhspring's Avatar
United States, LA, Carencro
Joined Dec 2005
5,594 Posts
You're just a glutton for punishment, Nick. Looking forward to enjoying your build.

Regards,
Jeff
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 06:35 PM
Not now, Kato! Not now!
katobaggins's Avatar
Sheridan, OR USA
Joined Jan 2005
143 Posts
Nick, at this point I am utterly convinced I made the right choice in not joining you in building a Starship! Had I found those threads, I don't think I would have even considered it...well, ok...I would have considered it because the plane is so cool.

Good luck to you. Let me know if you need any additional reference photos. It's very easy for me to get to one.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 10:44 PM
Two left thumbs
Muncie, IN
Joined Sep 2006
4,248 Posts
Nice to have a real one a half hour away, "just in case," eh, Kato?
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 12:04 AM
Not now, Kato! Not now!
katobaggins's Avatar
Sheridan, OR USA
Joined Jan 2005
143 Posts
Life's good when you have the everything from a Bleriot to a SR-71 a short drive away, not to mention the venerable Spruce Goose.

I know...brag, brag, brag...sorry guys. I'll shut up now.
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 12:17 AM
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Joined Dec 2006
462 Posts
The Beech/Raytheon corporation in Gluckstadt MS (Just north of Jackson) has been flying a Starship for several years. You definitely know it when you hear it overhead. Haven't seen or heard it lately, might have to inquire of its status.

I think the Starship would make a really cool model. I've been involved with the ARF Long-EZs and the Quickie. Canards are definitely a head turner.

Rube

"Since 1995 Bob Bass has logged 1,900 hours in Starships as a corporate pilot for Vertex Aerospace in Madison, Mississippi. Its a wonderful airplane to fly, very maneuverable and plenty of power, he says."

Full article:http://www.airspacemag.com/military-.../starship.html
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Last edited by Rube Goldberg; Sep 13, 2008 at 12:41 AM.
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